Wednesday, September 30, 2009
But it's almost 10:00 at night, and I need to post. Because I ALWAYS post. I suppose that OCD runs in the family, and I can blame myself for L's need to constantly rip paper.
No long, coherent monologues. Mostly because I am running tomorrow morning, which means I need to drag these bones out of bed earlier than 8 a.m.
And I am doing this because I only like to shower once a day. I have a problem with any more than that. Which I think we can also blame on my mild OCD (and not environmental, water-saving morals). And I have bible study tomorrow morning, which means that shower must happen prior to 8: 35 a.m.
Yes, I could go without a shower. I am not that vain.
My issue is that I did not shower today. Which means that if I don't shower tomorrow morning, it will be close to 48 hours since I have bathed.
Which also wouldn't bother me so much, except that I wore my Keen's today, and those puppies make feet smell like no other.
Which, is no big deal, if I was going to be by myself tomorrow. And not in a small, confined room full of women.
It still would not be an issue, if I wore close-toed shoes. But I am hanging on to flip-flop weather while I can. I don't care if it is 42 degrees when I leave the house.
Which also means I need to find clothing that is warm, yet cool, yet comfortable. And by comfortable, I mean anything with a waistband made of elastic. An elastic waist band that ISN'T a pair of sweats. Because I am showering, and what's the point really, if I don't clean it up just a little bit.
Tuesday, September 29, 2009
That's 18 minutes too long, for an activity they have almost no part in.
And it's only a matter of time before someone severs a finger, when I inevitably place the carving knife carelessly in reach of the munchkins, while trying (unsuccessfully) to get them to dig their little hands into the pumpkin innards.
What's that you say?
There are kits available for pumpkin carving that involve no large cleavers?
I'm still fairly certain my children could saw through bone with a knife the size of a toothpick.
I wasn't sure a mini-pumpkin was carvable. Turns out it is. And you can do it with a spoon, once you cut the top open. Took me 5 minutes to do all three.
I thought of this on my own, but really can't take credit, because I'm SURE the idea exists out there somewhere. I probably saw it years ago and just stored it in that useless mental space between paper mache instructions and Jon Bon Jovi's birthday (March 2nd, thank you very much).
Of course. I had to add some polka dots.
And after I painted those on, the pumpkin looked a bit to dull. As in sheen.
So, you know me. I painted on a layer of Mod Podge for some PIZAZZ!
I started with three, but have a feeling I might get up to 187 by the time Halloween arrives. Not including the pumpkins the children will paint.
Because I am all about the kids. And keeping their appendages attached and intact.
Monday, September 28, 2009
Sunday, September 27, 2009
Meet Nikki. Two years ago she joined our family with a gorgeous head of loose curls. Twenty minutes later, she looked like this:
Note to parents! Listen up! If you are in any way contemplating the purchase of an American Girl doll for your daughter (or son, I'm not judging), DO NOT buy a doll with curly/wavy hair. Unless you like this look. Which you might. Again, not judging.
Here is also where I tell you that I hate Ann Sather. She is the mean girl who has been "force" feeding me fat for the past few years. I mean, cinnamon rolls battered, deep fried and topped with marscapone cheese are a bit much, don't you think? And I may or may not have eaten an entire cinnamon roll before the whole battered/fried/marscapone ordeal. I hate her.
Oh, American Girl. You are a genius. This is afternoon tea for the girls. L was also given a doll to borrow while she was there...but she was uninterested. I could KICK myself for forgetting bowling pin kitty, because her little pin shaped body would have fit in REAL nice.
And Sweet Mandy B's. She tag teamed with Ann Sather to make sure my ass came home even larger than when it left. Mission accomplished. I have felt all kinds of sick and nasty, as it relates to my blood sugar and the onset of diabetes.
I believe we have also learned that I have NO will power.
A few other favorites from the weekend:
Though I have been a parent for almost seven years, have seen many a child disaster and now pride myself on being able to forsee and prepare for all kinds of said child disasters...I obviously haven't learned that a change of clothes is NECESSARY when children play in water. Luckily, Little J did not realize how EMBARRASSING it is to walk down Michigan Avenue in Diego tighty-whiteys.
Wednesday, September 23, 2009
Clean it up, Kirkwood!! Even worse, it was thrown by an ELEMENTARY SCHOOL FLOAT! Now, we all know the school had NO IDEA what was in that bag of "gummy body parts"...I don't doubt that for a second. But just this once I am going to give the makers of this candy the benefit of the doubt, and hope to God that a spleen looks just like....this.
We almost peed in our pants for an hour straight after finding this gem.
Tuesday, September 22, 2009
Obsession #1,764. Silhouettes.
I've seen these all over the place and read a few different tutorials. Let me tell you, you don't need someone to show you how to do this. It is THAT easy.
First you take a picture. Then you cut out the figure you'd like to silhouette. And then you trace that shape on to black paper. And then you cut it out. Done.
If you want to get all fancy, you can use a copy machine with the original pic and size it to your liking. I personally feel like a magician when I take a photo of myself and slim it down by 10 pounds (mostly around the middle). Oh, to be two-dimensional and made of paper.
But I am playing with these. Fun paper. And different shapes. And adding things like circles, because I just can't help myself. My plan is to do an entire wall. Because you know me. I can't do just one, it NEEDS to be 50. Now every time I take a picture, I see it in black with some sort of polka dot background.
The cut-out of the boys (top left) has been sitting on my desk for well over 3 weeks. So, while I have 47 more of these puppies to go (small exaggeration), I consider getting these three done a small step for mankind.
Just trying to save the world. One craft at a time.
Sunday, September 20, 2009
And I think that is a fantastic way to guard your heart against disappointment, when it inevitably comes. Because I do believe that we are all disappointed, or hurt or wounded at some point in our lives. There is sin, period. And it sucks.
But I don't believe that the presence of struggle is equal to the complete absence of perfection.
Perfect is absolutely, everyday. Attainable in pieces. In moments of minutes or seconds, maybe years. And sometimes we know that sunny and 75 degrees is perfect, and sometimes we just live in it obliviously until we suffer with the comparison of 11 degrees and icy.
There was never a stage of my life that I thought was perfect as I lived it. But when I look back, I know that it has been good, even if there has been...struggle. Struggle with being a teenager, fitting in, passing math (year, after year, after year), going off to college, taking responsibility for myself and my laundry (still not quite there), leaving college. Working.
Losing a child.
Those periods were always characterized by what was missing, or lacking or challenging or terrible...but the good stuff. Oh the good stuff.
The good stuff WAS perfect. Small glimpses of heaven, that in the moment were always outweighed by some sort of drama. But that's the point. We can't really get a clear view of that kind of perfect, without the drama. But it is there. Here. Now.
And when I look back, and the struggle of that particular moment is dead and gone, the good stuff is still there. It is real. It's what held me up, even if I didn't know it, or recognize it, or see it. I just couldn't separate it from what was hurting or missing or disappointing.
And I say all of this because there is a sweet little girl who is very brave, and hurting and surely very scared all at the same time today. And in the past couple of days, I'm sure her idea of perfect (and those of her parents) have been rattled to the core.
E, a daughter of good friends of ours had an awful accident this weekend, when she tripped into a fire pit and received third degree burns on the skin of her shoulder and back. And it was, and continues to be the worst pain, I am sure she has ever felt in her life. And it is very far from perfect, or what her parents imagined for her as a seven-year-old girl.
I can only imagine that every single member of that family is in the trenches right now. Surviving. Dealing. Wrestling.
But eventually, her skin will heal. Her grafts will take, and her pain will lessen. This chaos they live in will slip back to normal, without even being noticed. They will learn to dress bandages, and they will learn to be careful with E's new skin. And eventually that "new" skin will be HER skin. And that horrible accident will be HER story. Her perfect story.
And one day, I hope, they will see small slices of perfection in what is now just painful and heart breaking. That they will love E and their two children just a little differently. That milk spills and puke and sassy talk can be perfect (and frustrating), too. Because even the everyday, uneventful times are perfect in their normalcy, too. Especially when compared to the HARD times.
Josh & Mandy, I hope you see some small piece of perfect today.
So it appears we need to party like it's 2009, because winter is a comin' and that means we are going to hibernate for 4-6 months. After we add a respectable layer of life-sustaining blubber courtesy of large amounts of candy/funnel cakes.
I learned a few things this weekend. Via free events that may/may not include scary metal cages suspended by questionable metal cables (translation: ferris wheel). I am probably afraid of heights. You may have guessed this based on my morbid fascination with plummeting to my death in the St. Louis arch two weeks ago. Not so much afraid of heights as afraid of falling from them.
Saturday brought parades, jumpy castles, sunburns, soccer games, candy consumption. Big J was finally convinced he wasn't being sacrificed to the balloon gods.
Thursday, September 17, 2009
But each a small miracle when it comes to our household, my usage of time and my skills as a house wife. If that is even a politically correct term anymore. Keep in mind that I have a job which requires me to clean bodily waste, grocery shop with volatile little ones and reason with children who lack any signs of common sense on an HOURLY basis. You can call me dumb-ass if you want--I probably won't hear it over the screaming.
Let me back this story up just a tad, and tell you about the time that our house was littered with little shoes. Four walking children = eight shoes (minimum), that we could NEVER find because they were everywhere.
So we came up with the brilliant idea to put all the shoes in an extra deep, bottom drawer in our kitchen. Hidden. In one, regular spot. Life was good.
Until the shoes multiplied and the children grew, and the flip-flops and tennies and mary janes came spilling forth from their jail. A state we lived in for 2 years.
And then I grew a pair (today) and decided to reclaim the kitchen. We already know the basement is under siege (laundry). I'll be darned if I'll let the enemy (children's clothing) gain ground in a public area of our home.
Yes. I know that's what closets are for. Spare me. I am totally against any item of children's apparel remaining in their rooms. My feelings against it are as strong as my convictions against slavery and nuclear war.
No more shoes in the drawer--they just don't fit, and I need to move on. Which means shoes are now going in a bin in our coat closet. Which means all shoes too small need to find a new storage home. Which also means all my random sewing crap/various unfinished projects need to find a new home to make space for the shoe bin. Here is why I hate organizing. One project becomes 50, and everything ends up in my basement anyway.
I will say that the first 8 years of burning/under cooking was the fault of my mother-in-law, and her "accidentally" giving me a recipe that called for 3 eggs, not 2. And I say "accidentally" because it is a joke that she purposely tries to mess with my otherwise stellar cooking.
But then we fixed that small issue and the bread was still somewhat raw in its mid-section. Guess I can't blame that on sabotage, Pat.
Today's loaf is a winner, though, which gives me YEARS worth of validation as a housewife. I would have never guessed that flax seed was the solution to my self esteem issues.
Wednesday, September 16, 2009
Now, since the start of school, I have had every intention of putting the kids to bed early, which would mean 7:00 p.m. I have "intentioned" this, because of L's general, non-stop crying, which begins just after she comes down from the high caused by whatever drugs they are feeding her at preschool.
But 7:00, for us, is somewhat unrealistic. Between eating, and occasionally bathing, and watching some sort of T.V. show, and saying prayers, and finding the 743 stuffed animals they NEED in order to sleep....well, we're lucky if lights out is 7:45.
But today, Big J threw the Oscar-worthy tantrum of his life, because his mother picked him up from school, therefore dashing his dreams of riding the school bus home. You would think someone had put Baby in the corner and instead of doing the pa-chang-ko or whatever, Big J was going to kick and scream and wretch and spin his head clear around his body 5 times until her daddy let her freaking dance (That was for you P. Swayze). And this is how it was decided that 7:00 was bedtime.
Which brings us back to 6:38 p.m., and bath time. When I decided to hang up some of the clothes that were mindlessly loitering around my closet floor.
Silly, silly me. Being productive with my time (when kids are involved) ALWAYS shoots me in the rear. ALWAYS.
Because I returned to the bathtub to find three happy, subdued children. Bathing in what appeared to be a mixture of water and toilet paper.
"WHO did this?" the obvious question.
To which L confessed and Big J blamed Little J. It appears that on top of multi-tasking, they also know I am WEAK when it comes to handling more than one naughty misbehavior at a time.
It became quite obvious the culprit was L. In addition to the absence of fear in this particular situation, she is the culprit of 99% of the naughtiness that happens under this roof.
Here is also where I realize that I have never actually told her not to put toilet paper in the bath water. Take note now, parents: Start telling your kids not to put toilet paper in the bath. Tell them not to light kittens on fire. Tell them not to grab microphones and/or insult perfectly lovely singers at the VMAs. Tell them not to shove Legos up their nose. Or ears. Tell them not to pet alligators.
Because anything is fair game if it hasn't been spelled out in exact terms (when your 4).
L's consequence was that she couldn't play in the bath and had to take a quick shower. And because I was just surviving until 7 p.m., the boys stayed in their paper-soak and we all tried to ignore the little flakes floating amongst them. Because I just couldn't handle draining the water and wiping down the tub, all the while knowing that one, possibly two wet boys would be rolling around in my bed. And chances are they would be depositing little, wet balls of toilet paper in the precious spot that is my haven for eight hours every night.
Nope. Bathing in a little wet toilet paper never hurt anyone.
Tuesday, September 15, 2009
But hey, whatever.
So, my parents have left, but before they hoped a plane out of here, I managed to get a run in this morning. Yeah Me! Really dumb move, seeing as my breakfast prior to said run consisted of one frosted donut and diet coke. Felt great out there for about 2 minutes until all that sugar burned off, leaving me a jittery, dehydrated mess.
In light of this rather bad decision on my part, I am going to boost my spirits by showing you a little something that went right. The first piece of clothing I have ever sewed for myself! Basically a larger version of the elastic waisted skirts I make for my girls.
Two rectangles of fabric, each about double the circumference of my body. Length depends on how long you want the finished product to be (to each his own). Pretty sure Lady Gaga would add a crotch to this, and some elastic leg casings to create...you've got it....undies.
I prefer a skirt just above the knees, myself.
I actually lined this as well to give it more body, so I cut the lining exactly the same size as the skirt. Sewed the side seams together on both, leaving me two tubes of fabric. Then sewed the right sides of the top of the skirt and the top of the lining together to form the top of the elastic casing. Once that was done, ironed, and flipped right side out, I sewed another line of stitching, 1 inch down from the top of the skirt, to form the bottom of the casing, while leaving an area unstitched at the end to feed my elastic through.
Because I am NOT a perfectionist, I didn't sew the skirt and skirt lining together at the bottom...no matter how hard I try to make them the same size, I always end up having more lining than skirt, or more skirt than lining, which makes one large gather or wrinkle, or general flashing arrow that I'm really not all that good at being accurate. Or patient.
Instead, I folded and ironed the rough edges under, and then stitched them for a finished seam. So my skirt and lining are only attached at the top. Which I think helps to give it a fuller look, as well. And because this is an elastic waist skirt, I prefer mine a bit fuller. When you add the elastic to the waist, it cinches all the material up quite a bit and makes for a really gathered look. Want less gathers? Lessen the width of the fabric rectangles you started with.
Really, I am doing this all by feel, and what seems right. And easy. Let's not forget easy. And I used fabric that was $4 a yard, so at the end of the day, if I really messed up, I wasn't going to cry about it.
There are PLENTY of things to cry about. $10 skirts do not happen to be one of them. Running hills while on caffeine withdrawal is another story, entirely.
Sunday, September 13, 2009
The fact that there is an awards show for music videos, is, in itself, somewhat comical...as videos are actually played between the prime time hours of 4-7 a.m., if that is any indicator of the kind of social clout they pull. And yet, collectively, MTV, corporate America and every celebrity known to man spends MILLIONS of dollars to to sponsor and attend this most elaborate shin-dig. Excuse me, I meant to say every celebrity under the age of 35, because anything over that automatically qualifies you for death and dentures in the eyes of pre-teens (their target audience).
I digress. What I am getting at here, is that crap-loads of money is spent to celebrate something no one even cares about in the first place. And this is officially the thesis that WILL win me the Nobel Peace Prize for ending global poverty.
Cute little Taylor Swift wins some award for best female video (or something), but I am unclear on this, as I believe there were at least 9 different categories of the same title. But it is, like, AWE-SOME, because I AM 12, and I LOOOOOVE her.
And this 5-foot-tall jackass named Kanye something-or-other, hops up on the stage, WHILE SHE IS GIVING HER SPEECH, takes the microphone from her and proceeds to tell the audience that Beyonce's "Single Ladies" video was better. As if.
Oh Kanye. I didn't really think anyone could sink lower on my crap list than Jon Gosselin, but I absolutely stand corrected.
I'm not really sure if you can be that big of an ass/idiot all of your own power. You may have had the help of some really strong opiates. But I do know it is a REALLY bad idea to publicly insult the most popular recording artist of the moment. Who is still a teenager. On live TV.
She writes her own music, sings live and plays the guitar for goodness sake. If you want to rip on the really good looking people who "become" musicians with a team of producers and surgeons and magic singing machines, have at it. You just REALLY look like a moron when you insult the ONE who can actually sing.
I watched Lady Gaga prance around in her underwear, which is not so unusual, as I'm not sure I have ever seen her wearing anything but underwear. But when you are a woman who is known for wearing UNDERWEAR as everyday pants, what do you do, you know....to stand out?
And I am beside myself with all kinds of guilt and grief and self esteem issues about it. Because apparently, when I do something everyday for nine months, and then fail to keep up that routine for half a week, I have all kinds of personal crisis' and identity issues.
But I am, at the end of the day, a writer. It has taken me over 11 years, COUNTLESS breakdowns and one blog to admit that. Oh, and a college degree, which (my parents) paid quite a bit for, proclaiming me an English Composition major. Even if I would never admit that to anyone, for fear they actually think I am, indeed, a writer.
Because writers WRITE things. That other people read.
And whoa, that is just way too much emotional pressure.
But then along came this little blog, and my daily homework assignments. And all of a sudden I began to see the world through words again. Normal, everyday things became actual sentences, as they were happening. It's probably the thing I love the most--my mind instantly translates the visual and verbal to written words. I read and write the world, and that is how I best see things. It is also how (most of) my posts are born--I see them in mental print first.
But that only happens when I am in practice. When I am training myself to see my life that way. And after three days, the words are coming...slooooooowly. Ugh.
Wait! Kanye West is giving me all kinds of inspiration. Oh. And Lady Gaga. So. Many. Words.
This week, my parents have been here, which means I have been driving myself crazy trying to pack in all kinds of projects and craziness. And that basically translates into me running myself ragged with projects I have no business starting in the first place.
Aside from NOT blogging and NOT running, it also appears that I have been eating. A lot.
I don't have body issues. This is where I am very thankful for growing up in Hawaii and being a five-foot-six-inch giant on an island of small Asians. Can't fight fate, or genetics, it appears. I did slouch for my first 18-years, but that's beside the point.
I do, however, have issues with buying a whole new wardrobe, which will happen in approximately 2.4 pounds. And this is why, I am on a diet. Or, was on a diet, to which I will be returning shortly. After I have some ice cream.
Here's to a new week. And writing some things. And not eating some things.
Wednesday, September 9, 2009
This is not so much a comfort to me, as I'm sure Napoleon couldn't conceptualize the airplane. Or George Washington the Internet. Joan of Arc would not have understood denim. Much less "designer" denim, and paying over $100 dollars for a casual pair of slacks. Pretty sure the idea of the dollar and the United States of America would also be a foreign concept.
All I'm saying, is that the world is full of never-woulda-thoughts and crazy impossibilities. Like plunging to my death in an egg-shaped elevator traveling up a curved metal tube. Perhaps that egg would wedge itself sideways as it was free-falling from the heights of the St. Louis Arch.
Because being tossled and wedged in a 5 square foot egg (with three children) does not sound so bad.
All this fear was for naught, as you can see, I survived my death-defying trip to the top of the Arch. Just as hundreds of tourists do everyday.
We all know I am destined to die in a freak paddle boating accident, anyway.
Monday, September 7, 2009
I cooked with beets. Real, honest-to-goodness beets, complete with fresh dirt from the ground they were plucked from. We'll call them the hemophiliacs of vegetables.
It scared me almost as much as an actual horror movie. Roasting beets, that is. Never done it before, and I have a real fear of anything unknown. Precisely the reason I ate nothing but cheeseburgers until the age of 20.
This was my first attempt at a beet salad. And as it turns out, roasted beets are soft and mildly sweet-like. We added feta cheese, avocado, pine nuts and shallots. Dressing was a red wine vinegar/white wine vinegar/oil mix. Yum, but it could have used a little more punch. Some zip.
Ka-pow. If you will.
I do, however, appreciate it's attempt at drama, what with the beets bleeding themselves all over their roommates in the bowl. Very Tarantino.
I am in LOVE with Trader Joe's pizza crust. In love. Mainly because it's $1.19 and delicious. Tonight was sweet Italian sausage, spinach and tomatoes. Anybody got any other pizza combos that are heaven on dough??
Sunday, September 6, 2009
A highly-functioning, mildly annoying, form of obsessive compulsive disorder, that happens to manifest itself ONLY in terms of paper ripping and NOT habitual counting or hand-washing or routine-oriented behavior.
Because it is quickly becoming more than I can handle when I walk into the girls room to find little bits and scraps of all kinds of paper. L's way of dealing with the world, ripping our life in paper to tiny white specks.
So, I'm hoping for some kind of disorder with a diagnosis, because that would make this scenario (which happens every time I clean their room....and in the months in between, when it's too messy for me to care) unavoidable, and maybe even the natural result of some sort of brain mis-wiring, all stemming from her days as a 25-week preemie. In which case, I can thank the Lord that the potentially devastating effects of being a one-pound baby have turned out to be nothing but an annoying habit to rip paper products. Continually.
And then I will feel like it's not so bad.
And then, instead of feeling frustrated at this never-ending, paper ripping dance we seem to perform daily, I will only feel silly and begin to praise her fine-motor skills and her progress since birth.
And then when I want to do a paper mache or decoupage project, I will have L, constantly preparing the materials for me. And it won't be creepy that we have an entire house furnished and decorated with hard, formed, glued paper.
And then Christmas presents will be easy and inexpensive and consisting of lots of tissue paper and kleenex.
And then, when she leaves for college and I open her drawers and closets only to be snowed upon by paper bits, I will feel sad and nostalgic and lonely for my little girl and her strange OCD tick.
And this is what helps me sleep at night.
Friday, September 4, 2009
Oh, and quarters.
And one FANTASTIC! Bubble Brush....
Yes, we're talkin' about the car wash.
My husband's business partner, on the other hand, has been in love with car washes since FOREVER. Has loved them so long and loyally that he was willing to buy one and gently caress it on a daily basis via coin collection, power-washing, computer upgrading, ice scraping, coin washing. All of those things are the love language of a car wash, FYI.
I thought this was all a bit strange, until I TWO of my very close girlfriends mentioned that their sons are in love with car washes. CAR WASHES???? One friend (Lib, I know you're out there), even constructed a car wash for her son's birthday party.
So today, I got my A-game out, and called a few friends for a car wash rendezvous. Complete with bike riding and washing AND a tour of the car wash "mechanical" room, also known as the brain of tubes and bubbles and such.
And then Mr. Jim (who I suspect has been a lover of car washes like every other boy in America), gave the kids a dollar to put into the coin machine. And that literally blew their minds, as they are now wanting a magic money machine for Christmas.
I think I'd like one of those too.
Thursday, September 3, 2009
Second thought: How long can a fly survive in the vacuum of a sealed plastic bag?
Third thought: If I don't eat this sandwich, I am going to devour an ENTIRE tub of cheese puffs...purchased from Sams, no less. I have not eaten fat-free hot dogs and soup for weeks just to blow it on cheese puffs.
Fourth thought: Fly was actually taking a breather on the laminate countertops directly below the plastic bag, thus giving the illusion of escape from the bread dungeon.
Out of convenience (translation: laziness), we're adopting option four, because I have neither the patience nor the blood sugar to search out another food source that does not involve processed cheese product. This meal comes after a picnic with my youngest three, whom I put on the school bus just minutes before the last ounce of my energy and willpower were sucked dry from my marrow.
Why not eat with the kiddos?
Because I practically have to feed them at 10:45 to get them on the bus at noon. And L is on a manual setting when it comes to eating, which means I have to talk her through biting. And chewing. And chewing. And swallowing. And chewing. It sort of takes the fun out of eating all on my own. Particularly when my diet consists of no fat or calories.
So, our fun little picnic was fun, but it was also a lot of, "Chew, L, Chew. Swallow. Don't touch that. Stop squeezing the yogurt. Do not touch the stick covered in bugs. Chew. Leave your straw in the juice. Don't play with your shoe. Swallow, L. One more bite. Don't touch her. Chew."
It isn't always perfect. Wait. It's never perfect. They never magically behave and transform into fully-functioning 30-year-olds. It just is life to have little people who ask a million questions and push every boundary and act inappropriately in most social situations. Don't let it stop you folks!
Even if it means eating a sandwich bun that may, or may not, have been the toilet of an angry fly. I'm just sayin'.
Wednesday, September 2, 2009
So here we start with the flower pots. These are the really small size, probably just 3-4 inches tall. We painted them a bright green. And yes, I always use paper plates, because then I toss the mess. I am totally against cleaning any sort of cup. Mainly because I am totally against cleaning.
Eyeballs are made from wood balls...my pic says they are a 3/4 inch diameter. We painted them white. Feel free to go with red if you are really into crazy, bloodshot frog eyes. You will need to glue gun the eyes to the flower pot, unless of course your little people can handle glue that melts, in what looks like a weapon. Mine cannot.
Here's where we get a little crazy. A little nutty, if you will. So, I begin to think, "What am I going to do with 4 frog flower pots?" And I start trying to tie it in to some larger lesson. And then the planets align, peace in the middle east exists and I see Jesus.
But I do remember The Frog in the Bog (by Karma Wilson). Which we discovered when G was 2, and we've read so many times that I can quote it cover to cover. The gist is that there is a frog in a bog (wow, hope I didn't give that away for you), and he eats insects like mad. There's a little counting involved and definitely a jiggety-jiggety toddler rap sound to it.
All this to say that simple frog flower pots suddenly became a tactile experience in creating "the bog". We decided to try our hand at crafting a mobile!
Our insects, sculpted out of Sculpey clay, and baked at 275 degrees for 20 minutes. A tick, fleas, flies, slugs and snails. Don't forget to create some sort of hole in your clay critters, for hanging later.
Next: finding some sort of contraption to hang our creatures from. I did a hearty amount of research, tried my darndest to reuse something fun from Goodwill, but at the end of the day, a grapevine wreath looked and worked the best. They were half off at Hobby Lobby, and as many of you know, I take this as a personal sign from God that it was meant to be. I also used some fishing line to tie the critters to the wreath.
I wanted something a little more "woodsy" looking than just the wreath, so I threw in a couple of bags of dried moss, in differing colors for variety and depth.
Here's where it gets scientific. Glue the moss to the wreath.
Look at this little guy, just hangin' out. Oh, and if I forgot to mention it, the black part of his eyeballs were created with Sharpie markers.
Ta-da! Presenting our "Frog in the Bog" mobile...complete with five snails, four slugs (ew, ugh), three flies (oh my!), two fleas (dear me) and one tiny tick (ick). There is also a gator involved, but now I am DEFINITELY giving it away. Because I wanted him to stand out, I made him larger and from felt...and while I sewed him, a glue gun would work just as well to piece him together. I don't have a picture to show you, but trust me, he is as BASIC as you can get...no legs even, just a body and teeth!
Last step: Attaching grosgrain ribbon on four different spots around the wreath, from which the mobile will hang. I also think this could look DARLING with tulle ribbon, possibly bandannas, fun fabric...you name it.
Oh it's so colorful and fun--and such a great reminder of something my kids love at this age! There is a lot of behind the scenes mommy work involved in this one, BUT, my plan is to hang it in an area I am converting to a reading nook, so this will be a keepsake for sure. I really am all about crafty keepsakes, particularly when it is something my kids have all contributed to!
Think of all the fun books this idea can be applied to: The Very Hungry Caterpillar, Caps for Sale, One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish, Goodnight Moon...ya-da, ya-da, ya-da. Now, my house can only handle so many children's book mobiles, I'm just throwing it out there for all of you....
Tuesday, September 1, 2009
I take it back. I guess it's been one of those months.
Not bad, but it seems that my body just cannot keep up with my brain. Do you feel me?
Projects, projects, projects. And none with a specific deadline, so I just keep dipping my little ADHD fingers in all sorts of honey pots. I meant NOT to sew tonight....and instead, I have spent the last 2.5 hours at my machine. And it's been a successful and gratifying experience--but that just fuels the fire of this obsession.
The next time you see me, please tell me it is inappropriate for me to applique and embellish all of my children's clothing. Because I just don't see an end....
Anyhoo...all this to tell you that I find myself in an autistic-like state, dreaming of all things felt and ruffled and lettered. Oh! And I think I may have learned that putting my kids down for a quick nap upon their return from afternoon preschool is an idea INFINITELY worse than not napping at all.
As witnessed by Big J, the other wondertwin, who peed himself in anger when I woke him from his way-too-short slumber.
It appears that sleep issues are going to be a larger monster to tame than a rogue 4-year-old bladder. Interesting.